AW Calories vs Gym Machine

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by tpouliot, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. tpouliot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #1
    So I never have trusted the machine calories (elliptical, stepper, etc.), but the elliptical at the gym I go to differed from the AW by 18-25+%. The arc-trainer (stepper equivalent) was off even more!

    Pluses for the machine:
    1. It knows what resistance I put...the AW has no way to adjust for resistance other than heart beat.
    2. All elliptical machines are different (different stride motions, etc)

    Pluses for the AW:
    1. It knows hight, age, and sex, not just weight
    2. I don't always hold the HR monitor on the elliptical, the AW always has the current HR

    Knowing that the resting calories are WAY off (see other threads on this)...I am not sure if I should "trust" the AW yet...
     
  2. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    I would trust the AW more than the machine, as it's calculated using all known variables plus the heart rate.

    Machine just goes by a standard formula assume everyone's equal (in muscle strength, body type, and calorie expenditure) and it continues to calculate calories even if you aren't actively working out and leaving it running...

    Calories measurement is not an exact science, use it as a reference only.
     
  3. tpouliot thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #3
    This is not 100% accurate as I am referring to non-automatic machines such as a treadmill and auto-stair stepper. Elliptical and arc-trainers will not keep running / adding calories if you do not use it.

    I would just have thought a 10-15% difference not 25%+ for elliptical in one case and even more on the arc trainer....

    Machines are designed to make you feel good about your workout which is why I never believed that I was buying 1000 calories in 10 minutes ;) (ok, it was not really showing 1000 calories)...
     
  4. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
  5. Poochi macrumors 6502a

    Poochi

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Lol. I hear you. I was more referring to treadmill, it just keeps on going!

    And yes... no way my calorie expenditure is the same every time I step on it based solely on distance and intensity.

    Have you not noticed they can estimate for you calories burned per hour? Without even considering your oxygen intake and muscle mass? Yeah right :)
     
  6. tpouliot thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #6
    The power of Google:

    The heart rate can be used to estimate calorie expenditure during exercise. This is because the relationship between heart rate and calorie expenditure is relatively linear so long as the heart rate is between 90 and 150 beats per minute (bpm). This linear relationship allows the average heart rate during an exercise session to estimate calorie expenditure so long as the heart rate stays within the required range.

    Also this article:
    http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/heart-rate-based-calorie-burn-calculator.aspx
     
  7. Juan007 macrumors 6502a

    Juan007

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #7
    AW is correct. Your fitness equipment has no idea about your specs AND has a perverse incentive to overstate calorie count.
     
  8. Smtevo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #8
    I used to work in a health center, all those machines are based off of a 165lb male and that's it.
     
  9. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a

    DynaFXD

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    The machines I use ask for age and weight. I also always hold the handles and keep my heart rate over 85%. Machine to machine (different makes), they are usually pretty close in their calorie estimates. I worked out with the AW tonight for the first time. It was about 60% the calorie estimate of the machine. My hunch is that due to my oddly shaped wrists (??), the watch tends to slide over, even though the band is pretty tight (classic buckle). This is nothing new, other watches do this as well. At this point my thought is that the AW is off because the heart rate monitors lose connection, whereas the machine has a 90% connection rate, at least. I have a sports band on order and will play with using a tighter connection during running and working out when it arrives.
    The AW worked great using mapmyrun for a recent walking session. Very cool to keep the phone in a fanny pack and do everything from the wrist. I am not a professional athlete, so the AW-iPhone is great in my book to keep metrics for curiosity sake. Really enjoying it.
     
  10. Kb522 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #10
    I frequently wear a Garmin device with heart rate monitor on indoor cardio machines, and for me they can definitely be different. The machine is usually off by 10% or so compared to my device.

    Devices that are truly monitoring your heart rate and have a better estimate of your fitness level will be much more accurate.
     
  11. DynaFXD macrumors 6502a

    DynaFXD

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    FWIW, I also have a heart rate monitor strap that I use with my iPhone. The calories calculated by mapmyrun are generally consistent with those offered by the machines. The AW will also connect to these fitness tracking devices as well (if I read the settings options correctly). Which, if you are serious about tracking, will provide more reliable and consistent telemetry. Not a slight on the AW, which is more of a jack-of-all that can also connect up to more precise tools, if desired.
     
  12. jorsuss macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    #12
    Should I be selecting stepper when I'm on the arc trainer? I prefer this much more than the elliptical. Yesterday I chose elliptical workout on the watch. The arc trainer said I burned 1100 calories in 60 minutes and AW said 496. Today I did another hour but chose open workout. Machine said I burned 1400 and AW said 627. I don't really care either way since I'm just trying to lose weight and as long as it's consistent I have something to gauge. Just curious how the watch is calculating this because if I select open workout it has no idea what I'm doing other than my heart rate. Most of the time I hold the hand rests so it's not like there is any movement with my arms to pick up.
     
  13. foxkoneko macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #13
    There's no way you burned 1100 in only an hour unless you're past obese. The 500 from the watch is closer
     
  14. jorsuss macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    #14
    Yes I think the term the doctor said was morbidly obese. This would be the reason I am going hard with cardio at the gym. But I talk about my weight issues on another forum, I came here to talk about the watch. 600 calories would be normal for the elliptical but the arc trainer is a better workout that burns more calories.
     

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